U.S. President Barack Obama is again calling on Congress to end tax breaks which he says encourage companies to create jobs in other countries. The president's weekly address Saturday focused on the economy, the top issue in the upcoming mid-term election.
With U.S. unemployment mired at 9.5 percent and Democrats expecting big losses in congressional elections, President Obama is campaigning for new tax laws that he says will keep jobs in the country.
"Now, one of the keys to job creation is to encourage companies to invest more in the United States," he said. "But for years, our tax code has actually given billions of dollars in tax breaks that encourage companies to create jobs and profits in other countries."
Mr. Obama says tax breaks should benefit companies that create new jobs in the United States and keep existing ones in the country.
The president wants to give all businesses a tax break on the cost of new equipment they buy next year. He also wants to make permanent a tax credit for research and experimentation. Mr. Obama says those changes will spur more hiring and help the U.S. better compete in the global market, especially in growing industries such as clean energy.
"That's how we'll ensure that American innovation and ingenuity are what drive the next century," said the president. "That's how we'll put our people back to work and lead the global economy. And that's what I'll be fighting for in the coming months."
In the Republican Party response, Representative Mike Pence of Indiana said lawmakers should extend former President George W. Bush's tax cuts for private citizens, which Democrats oppose.
Pence urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call Congress back into session for an immediate vote on the issue. "The prosperity of the American people is more important than the political fortunes of any politician or political party," he said.
Democratic leaders in Congress say they will address the tax issue after the November 2 election.
Public opinion surveys show the Republicans are poised for big gains in many congressional races, and President Obama is campaigning hard to minimize the Democrats' expected losses.
In the next week, he will campaign for Democratic candidates in Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, California and Minnesota.